And good day to you! Just today I finally figured out why my attempts at re-creating kyuushoku-style pickled vegetables have failed: they're not picked, they're boiled! Hmm. And to think, I've spent the last 2 months pickling vegetables almost every day with little success.
One of the only English-speaking teachers (actually THE only English-speaking teacher out of my four schools!) was translating some of the menu for me today. The ever present side of vegetables (usually consisting of beansprouts, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, etc) haunts my day and night. I really have been trying for a while to figure out how to replicate it. Most the time a bit of zing is added, like some sesame oil (or seeds), ginger, or a new one today: tiny fry. I'm not actually a big fan of the fry. They have quite a strong fish taste, are crunchy (bonettes and all) and you can see their ever tiny little eyes pleading with you. But I guess they must be healthy and flavorful. One day, maybe. The stew was hearty and good (chicken in there?) and the "peanut toast" was, uh, interesting. Best of all, I think I had my first complete half hour long conversation in Japanese, at least the children didn't look at me strangely or seem exasperated. I felt (nearly) like a social dandy, deftly leading conversations along such erudite topics as "how old is your mom" and "in America, elementary school lunch tastes like dead bugs."
[clockwise from stew]
- "corn" stew (kōn shichū コーンシチュー)
- "peanut toast" (pīnattsu tōsuto ピーナッツトースト)
- milk (gyuunuu 牛乳)
- boiled vegetables with small fish (jakoiri yude yasai じゃこ入りゆで 野菜)
People still don't know what to make of my fascination with school lunch. As if I'm fascinated in tube socks or something similarly bland. I still am trying to think of some excuse as to why I'm taking pictures of everything. You just don't get it people! If only you knew the shit I ate as a kid...